Independent Evaluations

Children who are blind, visually impaired or deafblind will benefit from a comprehensive evaluation conducted by experts at Perkins School for the Blind. We know these children have unique learning needs – and Perkins can help.


How Perkins can help

Why is Perkins the go-to evaluation provider?

Perkins is proud of our reputation as an educational leader of the visually impaired. We’re also proud of our proven track record of providing thorough, effective evaluation services for more than 30 years, which includes:

  • A team of experts in visual impairment who work daily with children like yours
  • Timely, objective and comprehensive evaluations
  • Thorough, customized reports with specific recommendations
  • Follow-up consulting and progress monitoring

Why would my child benefit from a Perkins evaluation?

Formally evaluating a child’s strengths and needs allows teachers and parents to develop individualized education programs that provide the best learning experiences for each student. Our experts can assess a specific area of development, such as cognition, communication, motor or vision-related compensatory skills, or provide a comprehensive evaluation in several areas. This approach allows evaluations to be customized.

What can I expect during the evaluation process?

The evaluation takes one to two days to complete on the Perkins campus.

We use a team approach, which includes teachers and related service professionals who work directly with the students enrolled in one of our on-campus programs. Our evaluation teams have unparalleled knowledge of and experience with students who are blind, visually impaired or deafblind, including those with additional disabilities.

After the evaluation is completed, Perkins will provide a comprehensive evaluation report with recommendations for the student's educational program and community environment.

What does a Perkins evaluation cover?

Perkins’ assessment areas include:

  • Educational Skills
  • Psychological Assessments
  • Speech and Language, Communication
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Orientation and Mobility
  • Functional Low Vision
  • Expanded Core Curriculum areas and more

Do I have to apply for admission to Perkins in order to pursue an evaluation?

No. All children and young adults, ages 3-21, who are blind, visually impaired or deafblind, including those with additional disabilities, are eligible for evaluation services at Perkins.

What are my rights as a parent?

As the parent of a son or daughter with special needs, you have the right to an independent educational evaluation for your child, as allowed under the federal special education law, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). You can read detailed descriptions of your parental rights in “A Parent’s Guide to Special Education,” a free online publication produced by the Massachusetts Department of Education and The Federation for Children with Special Needs. If you reside outside of Massachusetts, the Center for Parent Information and Resources has a helpful guide. In addition, our staff will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have about your parental safeguards.

Does Perkins offer support after an evaluation?

Yes! We offer independent post-evaluation consulting to provide additional input and strategies for your child. This service is designed to help you clearly understand your child's strengths and challenges, customize strategies and techniques for further success, and analyze areas of concern to develop additional intervention and progress monitoring.


How do I request an evaluation?

To refer a student for an evaluation:

  1. Complete a Perkins evaluation form. Choose the form that’s most appropriate for your child:
    1. Early Learning Center Evaluation Information Form (ages 3-6) online form or PDF
    2. Lower School Evaluation Information Form (ages 6-14) - online form or PDF
    3. Secondary Program Evaluation Form (ages 14-21) - online form or PDF
    4. Deafblind Program Evaluation Form (ages 3-21) - online form or PDF
  2. Write a request that states the assessments being requested and information about who or what agency will be responsible for the cost of the evaluation.
  3. Gather all educational, clinical, related services and medical records pertaining to your child. Refer to the Required Paperwork Checklist for all necessary application materials and use it to organize your referral packet:
    1. Required Paperwork Checklist

Once we receive your complete application, the Perkins evaluation team will review the materials and contact you to discuss the team’s recommendation for scheduling an evaluation.


Testimonials about Perkins’ evaluations

“Extremely useful in developing her IEP.” – Principal & Special Education LEA in New Hampshire

“We thank you for the efficient and very informative evaluation. The report gave us validation and information that makes moving forward with more focus possible.” – Special Education team in Connecticut

“This evaluation was amazing. The report was written clear and concise. I am excited to put these recommendations into action. Thank you for all you do.” – Parent in Massachusetts

“This was a life-changing experience for me and [my child].” – Parent in New York


Contact

Independent Evaluation Services
Susan Symons
Evaluations@Perkins.org
617-972-7571